Letter to Rev. R.M. Laporte Payne 1919 undated
12 B F Lines
Dear Mr. Payne,
It is a week to night since first I wrote to you & I do believe I am happier than I was this time last Sunday. I have read my Bible every night this last week & have found a certain amount of peace to my tired soul from the Gospel of St John. Do you think, Mr Payne, that if I try hard & keep praying to Christ for help that he will let me come back to him? I feel so very far away when I look back over these last few years. I am thankful now that I have told you my story, it is a load off my mind, & if I can pray to God now I’ve told Him too! Although, as you say, of course He already knew what I had done, I have found a little book my aunt gave me years ago & the verse in it for tonight is as follows
“We will not come to thee,
Till thou have nailed us to some bitter cross,
And make us look on Thine; & driven at last
To call on Thee with trembling & with tears
Thou lookest down in love, upbraiding not
And promising the Kingdom
Ye shall find rest for your souls.” Jer 6; 16
I think I’ve had a bitter cross, but oh how I wish I could feel the faith in God that you can. I – who am I to come to God & ask Him to let me come back into his fold? I, who deliberately turned my head from Him & followed the Devil & all his ways – but – “Jesus calls me from the worship of the vane world’s golden store. From each idol that would keep me saying “Christian love me more.”
And Oh Mr. Payne if only I could BELIEVE!! It is soothing to my tired heart to read the beautiful words & promises in the Hymns &the Bible but as yet I can’t quite b e l i e v e I suppose, the “vane world’s golden store” has got a firm grip of me, but oh I do earnestly want to leave it all & come back to my Saviour. Do you think He really knows I want to come back? & oh Mr. Payne will He forgive me & say “Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more?”
Will you please send me the words of the dear old hymn in the Christ Church hymn book (I have only an ancient and modern book) the hymn starts with “Knocking, knocking who is there” I used to know it all through, & I remember that it was my favourite hymn in that book, so I should love to know it again. My “door” is very hard to open but oh, If I keep pulling at the rusted bolts & drag the ivy vine away, will my Saviour enter at last to leave me nevermore? There are my babies, two innocent little lambs of Jesus – but oh when I come to think of it how very near to children of the devil they would have become if I kept on in the devil’s ways teaching them & helping them to do likewise. My friend Minnie Green, said it was God who was speaking to my heart, that made me write to you last Sunday on impulse. It may have been, but if I did not go to church that day I should never have written to you. Pray for me, please, dear friend, I think you will not be too hard on me now you know my secret, & yet I only deserve you to hate me, but please help me to find Jesus again.
As now I can only see Him very very faintly but still it is a ray of hope for better light to come, & you my dear friend whom I learnt to love & respect in my childhood days, you can if anyone can help me back to Him, for I’m oh so very very tired of the world & all its sins, & sorrow & lust & greed & everything wicked I was up to my neck in, but I want to go straight from now, straight up to God & learn to walk in His ways & let my two little lambs have a mother they can look up to & respect. For I hope & pray Joan will never know the awful truth about her birth, poor little soul if only I’d have thought of that before it was too late.
Good night dear friend
I do want your advice & help
Yours very sincerely
The enclosed verses are what are helping me to come back, & are pulling, tugging at the door of my heart. Please keep them.